"Set My Hands To Heal"
["Dar Mis Manos Para Sanar"]
A documentary film about
Sr. Ann Manganaro, SL MD
Doctor in Chalatenango,
El Salvador 1988-1993

Ann Manganaro grew up in Webster Groves, MO, eldest in a large family. She graduated from Nerinx Hall and joined the Sisters of Loretto in 1964. After starting the Neighborhood School in the Skinker-DeBalividere neighborhood, she helped found Karen Catholic Worker House and went to Med School at St Louis University. Ann worked as a pediatrician in the emergency room at Cardinal Glennon Hospital in St. Louis. In late 1987 she went to El Salvador as a volunteer with Jesuit Refugee Services. She was sent to Guarjila, Chalatenango to provide healthcare for civilians in the midst of the civil war.

                       Annís Legacy

Healthcare skills learned by refugees returning from the UN sponsored Mesa Grande camp were enhanced by Annís skilled leadership. Ann trained 200 health promoters to meet the needs of the people. Further studies have prepared a staff of local health professionals: Doctors, Nurses, Med Techs, and Health Educators.

In 2010, Guarjila was chosen as a Communal Family Health Unit by the Ministry of Health under the government of Mauricio Funes, and was used as part of the model for the national communal medicine system. With professionals from the community and specialists, the clinic now serves 50,000 people a year and is open 7 days a week.

All services and medicines are free. Young people now are entering health professions with the hope in sharing in this bright future for El Salvador.

                    The Documentary

Inspired by stories about Ann at Karen Catholic Worker House, Dr. Rodney Yarnal and his spouse Christen Parker went to El Salvador in 2007 to interview Annís friends and colleagues, and her family. Each one shared stories of her remarkable mission of accompaniment. They recorded over twenty-four hours of video. IFCLA joined Parker and Yarnal in the mission of transcription, translation and film production. Carson Minnow and colleagues from First Punch Productions edited the footage into the documentary, which premiered in June, 2013, the twentieth anniversary of Annís untimely death from cancer.

Copies of the dvd are available through IFCLA. The minimum donation is $20. All donations are sent to Guarjila to build a retirement fund for Annís health promoters who worked outside the national social security system for twenty years.
A link to the video is here
Accompanying the people of Latin America in their struggles for human rights and social justice since 1982
438 North Skinker Boulevard
Saint Louis, Missouri
(314) 721-2977
Portrait by Patricia Atwood
Immigration - Intervention - Investment - Immersion
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Our mission: To accompany the people of Latin America in their struggles for human rights and
social justice, and to educate and advocate in the US